The Northwest Center for Lifestyle and Functional Medicine and Returning Veterans Project Partner to Provide Chiropractic Care and Massage Therapy to Area Veterans

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The new UWS center is now the largest provider of services to the non-profit.

NWCLFM is now the largest service provider in the RVP network. This means veterans can get services quicker.

"Offering our service men and women therapeutic services is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to a group that risked their lives for our country..."Dr. Stan Ewald, AVP, Clinical Internships and Assessment

The Northwest Center for Lifestyle and Functional Medicine (NWCLFM), a new center of excellence at University of Western States (UWS), is partnering with the Portland-based non-profit Returning Veterans Project. Through the alliance, Portland-area, post 9/11 war-zone veterans are eligible to receive complimentary chiropractic care and therapeutic massages at one of the university’s outpatient clinics located on the UWS campus in Northeast Portland. The NWCLFM, in conjunction with UWS, is providing up to 28 hours of therapeutic services per week to veterans, making it the largest provider of health services in the Returning Veterans Project network.

“What this signifies is that many Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq War) and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan war) veterans living with chronic pain, often due to the heavy equipment they had to carry for long hours, can now get services right away,” Belle Landau, executive director of Returning Vets Project said. “What we have found is that through services like massage and chiropractic care, vets get the help they need to get off their pain meds, stay in school, stay in their jobs, and hopefully become more open to counseling. These are life changing services that make family and work life easier for the people who served our country.”

Returning Veterans Project is one of the few veteran-centered health service providers that incorporates a holistic and integrative approach to treating the physical and mental scars of war. A number of studies support this method, showing that the biochemistry of a person after a massage demonstrates reduced cortisol and increased serotonin and dopamine.* Reports also show the importance of healing through chiropractic care. A study conducted on active duty military who received chiropractic care, along with conventional medical care for low back pain, showed a 73 percent decrease in acute pain versus the 17 percent in veterans who only participated in conventional medical care.**

“I am so excited to team up with Returning Veterans Project. This provides UWS massage students an excellent opportunity to work on a population that can really benefit from massage. Not only will it provide help for the physical ailments associated with combat, but evidence also shows the value massage therapy has for people suffering from PTSD, anxiety and depression,” Eric Polgar, director of the UWS massage therapy program said.

“Offering service men and women therapeutic services is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to a group that risked their lives for our country. I am so grateful to be a part of this opportunity and I know our students and the veterans will benefit from this partnership,” Dr. Stan Ewald, associate vice president of clinical internships and assessment added.

Appointments are available starting May 26. Veterans wanting to learn more can visit the Returning Vets Project website at Chiropractic appointments are available Monday-Thursday and massage therapy appointments are available on Wednesdays at the main UWS campus in Northeast Portland. Please call 503-255-6771 to make an appointment. All veterans will need to show a military ID to receive free services.

About the Northwest Center for Lifestyle and Functional Medicine
The Northwest Center for Lifestyle and Functional Medicine was launched in 2015 as a center of excellence highlighting ways to reduce lifestyle-related health conditions such as diabetes, obesity and hypertension. The center’s vision is to promote healthy behaviors and positive lifestyle changes in order to achieve optimal quality of life for the members of our community through service, education and research. The center believes in integrated, conservative, patient-centered approaches to address lifestyle-related health conditions. To learn more about the center visit

About University of Western States
University of Western States provides a science-driven curriculum that delivers a solid foundation and competitive edge in preparing students for clinical practice. UWS is a regionally accredited, independent non-profit institution dedicated to improving the health of society through its educational programs, research and clinical services. Founded in 1904, the university offers a doctor of chiropractic degree program; master’s degrees in exercise and sports medicine, human nutrition and functional medicine, and diagnostic imaging; a massage therapy certificate program; approved continuing education programs for licensed health care professionals; and clinic services in five locations through Health Centers of UWS. UWS is a founding member of the Oregon Collaborative for Integrative Medicine, an organization that aims to advance integrative health care through education, research, patient care and advocacy. To learn more about University of Western States and its academic programs, go to

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*Field T, Hernandez-Reif M, Diego M, Schanberg S, Kuhn C. Cortisol Decreases and Serotonin and Dopamine Increase
Following Massage Therapy. Inter J Neuroscience, 2005;115:1397-1413.
**Goertz CM, Long CR, Hondras MA, Petri R, Delgado R, Lawrence DJ, Owens EF, Meeker WC. Adding chiropractic manipulative therapy to standard medical care for patients with acute low back pain: results of a pragmatic randomized comparative effectiveness study. Spine, 2013 Apr 15;38(8):627-34.

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Megan Nugent

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